Qualifications?

Just keep smilin'

           It’s rare that a segment from morning sports talk radio will annoy me enough to hang around my memory until the afternoon. Today was an exception. This morning, on my drive to work, I got a chance to listen to Jalen Rose break down the NBA playoff matchups for Mike and Mike. As I listened to him recite one cliche after another I was left with the distinct impression that he had no idea what he was talking about. To recap:

  • Rose thinks no first round series will go seven games. Possible, but I don’t think it’s likely.
  • There will be no upsets in the first round. Again, possible, but not likely.
  • Milwaukee, Boston and Portland are all “hobbled.” Not specific players, he referred to the entire team as “hobbled.” He also didn’t refer to Andrew Bogut by name, just “Milwaukee’s center, who was playing great basketball before he got hurt.”
  • Tim Duncan has lost the “explosiveness” which made him such a great player. Tim Duncan is certainly one of the 50 greatest NBA players. I would argue that “explosiveness” is not one of the attributes which has made him so great. In fact this may be the first time I have ever heard someone refer to Dunacn as “explosive.”
  • He began his Boston-Miami breakdown by saying that Boston’s superior frontcourt would lead them to victory. According to BasketballReference.com’s Win Share statistics, the Boston guards were responsible for 32 wins this season. That would leave the frontcourt responsible for 18. He closed by saying “too much Rajon Rondo, Boston wins.” Does he know that Rondo is a point guard and therefore NOT a frontcourt player?
  • According to Rose, Orlando will win because there will be too much Jameer Nelson for Charlotte to handle. I think Orlando will win as well, but I am not sure I agree Jameer Nelson will be the key player in the series.

         It got me thinking about how bizarre it is to have him as a basketball analyst on TV and radio. For what it is worth he was one of my Top 5 favorite Pacers of all time, despite his short time there. He was never a guy I watched and said to myself “He really understands the game of basketball.” He came into the league determined that he was a point guard, flamed out in that role in Denver and was traded to Indy. In Indy he became a proficient scorer, but by the time he left, he had become a chucker with no conscience.

           I know I am being really nitpicky. Usually announcers don’t get me one way or the other (Except Dick Vitale). But for some reason, Jalen Rose drives me crazy. Everytime I hear him offer his opinion he just strings together a few trite euphemisms and cliches,  then picks the obvious favorite. I get the sense that aside from personal connections with players, he really knows no more about the game of basketball than I do. I am sorry, but that is not a good situation for a basketball analyst. I don’t think being an ex-player, with a big smile and a positive attitude should qualify someone to be a professional analyst on the largest media network in sports. Let him start a WordPress blog like the rest of us!

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